Religious Liberty

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ERLC, others hail federal rule on campus freedom

WASHINGTON (BP) – Southern Baptist religious freedom advocate Russell Moore and other evangelical Christian leaders have commended a new Trump administration regulation to protect the constitutional rights of students and organizations on college campuses.

Northern California church accrues tens of thousands of dollars in fees for violating pandemic orders

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP/RNS) — A Northern California church has accrued tens of thousands of dollars in fines for defying public health orders that prohibit indoor worshipping.

China’s repression could spread, ERLC panel warns

WASHINGTON (BP) -- The Chinese government’s repression of Uyghur Muslims is a foretaste of the world’s future if there is not a change, human rights advocates warned Aug. 21 in a Southern Baptist-sponsored panel discussion.

Religious liberty ruling for wedding photographer commended

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) -- A court decision in support of a Kentucky photographer who declines to shoot same-sex weddings is a victory for religious freedom, advocates for the First Amendment right said.

John MacArthur, Grace Community Church defy guidelines after court overturns favorable ruling

SUN VALLEY, Calif. (AP/RNS) -- After two court rulings over the weekend, Grace Community Church again met indoors for worship Sunday (Aug. 16), continuing its defiance of a government order banning large indoor meetings and singing during meetings.

High court’s order on Nevada church draws dissent

WASHINGTON (BP) -- Religious freedom advocates and four justices expressed strong disagreement with the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to grant relief to a church seeking equal treatment under Nevada's coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. The high court denied July 24 a request from Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley (Nev.) to block enforcement of Gov. Steve Sisolak's order that limits religious gatherings to 50 worshipers regardless of the size of the building. Meanwhile, his directive permits casinos, gyms, bowling alleys and some other venues to operate at 50 percent capacity regardless of their size.

Union University’s action to rescind grad student’s admission draws criticism, support

JACKSON, Tenn. (BP) -- Union University has recently found itself in the spotlight of the ongoing faceoff between religious liberty and sexual liberty. The school -- affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention and located in Jackson, Tenn. -- rescinded a graduate student's admission after learning he had violated Union's Community Values Statements he had signed by being in a same-sex relationship. Alex Duron, the applicant, shared the news in a Facebook post Tuesday (July 21), prompting a social media backlash against Union but also expressions of support from Baptist leaders.

Appeals court ruling for adoption agency applauded

NEW YORK CITY (BP) -- A federal appeals court decision in support of a Christian adoption agency has garnered excellent reviews from religious freedom advocates. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City reversed July 21 a federal court opinion that would have required New Hope Family Services to shut down if it maintained its policy of refusing to place children in the homes of same-sex and unmarried couples. The appeals court returned the case to the lower court and kept in place its November 2019 decision that blocked enforcement of that court's ruling.

SBC DIGEST: Florence Littauer dies at 92; Bob Fu joins Family Research Council

Florence Littauer remembered for ministry of encouragement and hope; Family Research Council welcomes Bob Fu as senior fellow for international religious freedom.

Nevada urges US Supreme Court to deny church’s virus appeal

RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Nevada's lawyers urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to reject a rural church's appeal to the state's 50-person cap on attendance at worship services. The lawyers claim the church's assertion that the restriction infringes on the constitutional right to exercise religious beliefs is false, arguing that protecting Nevadans against the spread of the coronavirus weighs "heavily against injunctive relief."